The world’s rarest species of whale has been seen and photographed.
140 years after it was first identified from a jaw bone, two spade-toothed beaked whales were found stranded on a beach in New Zealand in December 2010. But, the whales, which can grow to more than 5 metres (16 feet) long, were initially mistaken for Gray’s beaked whales and buried.
DNA samples were taken from the mother and calf which later revealed their true identity and the remains were dug up. It is thought to be the first time this species has ever been seen as a complete specimen.
Little is known about this species and it is not clear why the whales swam on to the beach.